December 15, 2016

NoMoreRansom: Bigger, better, faster, stronger!

Security

It feels good when something you created does better than expected. When we posted recently about the NoMoreRansom project, which started as a joint initiative of Europol, the Netherlands police, Intel Security, and Kaspersky Lab, the project was already rather big. By that time, 13 more countries had joined, and NoMoreRansom had already helped more than 2,500 users successfully decrypt data that had been damaged by ransomware — without paying ransom.

NoMoreRansom: Bigger, better, faster, stronger!

Helping even one user get their data back is already well worth the effort, and 2,500 is really great — it means we are doing the right thing.

And now we are pleased to announce that the NoMoreRansom project has become even bigger and better, with new partners and new decryption utilities.

Fellow security companies Bitdefender, Emsisoft, Check Point Security, and Trend Micro joined NoMoreRansom as associate partners, which means that they contributed to the number of free decryption utilities available on the project’s website.

Also, a number of companies and organizations joined the project as supporting partners. Here’s the list: AnubisNetworks, AON, Armor, Association for Preventing and Countering Frauds (APCF), BH Consulting, CECyF (Centre Expert contre la Cybercriminalité Français), Cyberlaws.NET, Cylance Inc., DATTO Inc., ESET, FS-ISAC (Financial Services – Information Sharing & Analysis Center), G-DATA Software AG, Heimdal Security, s21Sec, Smartfense, SWITCH, Ukrainian Interbank Payment Systems Member Association (EMA), CERT-EU (Computer Emergency Response Team for the EU institutions, agencies and bodies), IRISS CERT (Irish Reporting and Information Security Service), CIRCL.LU (Computer Incident Response Center Luxembourg), and SI-CERT (Slovenian Computer Emergency Response Team).

The project is also now supported by the Austrian, Croatian, Danish, Finnish, Maltese, Romanian, Singaporean, and Slovenian police, which are our new supporting partners as well. That brings the number of countries involved in the NoMoreRansom project to 22.

More good news: The site is now available not only in English, but also in Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian, so ransomware victims in different countries will have an easier time using it. As of today nearly 6,000 people have used our utilities to decrypt their data without paying ransom, which gives us an immense sense of satisfaction.

So, cybercriminals all over the world, beware. This project is continuing to grow, adding new partners and providing new free tools to decrypt files encrypted by ransomware. The more countries take part in the project, the more criminals will be prosecuted for creating ransomware. And that in turn means we can create more ransomware decryption utilities; government officials can seize the command-and-control servers that hold the keys necessary for decryption.

More security companies joining the initiative also means more utilities through collective effort. So we hope that the project will continue to grow and that with the help of our partners we can halt the trend and stop ransomware from expanding further. As NoMoreRansom makes cryptors less profitable, we hope cybercriminals will abandon them. Maybe they can get jobs.

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However, the fight is not over yet, and everyone has to be aware of the threats that await them on the Internet. To learn more about ransomware we suggest reading this post — and if you are already a victim, visit nomoreransom.org and look for a proper decryptor. And remember, the best way to deal with ransomware is avoid it using proactive protection.